Officials Find Body Of Potomac River Swimmer

Potomac River along the Billy Goat Trail, via Flickr user cb0wMontgomery County Police will investigate how a Takoma Park man drowned while swimming in the Potomac River near the popular Billy Goat Trail after his body was found this morning.

Police say Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services found the body of Ngo Tekwe Forchick, 19, of Takoma Park, in the water at about 9:15 a.m. after an almost two-day long search.

MCFRS got the call for a possible drowning at about 1:50 p.m. on Monday and began a rescue mission in the river. Severe thunderstorms on Monday afternoon and evening temporarily stopped the search. Officials looked again yesterday and finally found Forchick’s body this morning.

Montgomery County Police search and rescue officers were on the scene and now detectives from the department’s Major Crimes Division will try to figure out what caused the drowning.

Forchick was swimming with friends on Monday when his friends noticed him go under the water and not resurface. A witness then contacted 911, according to police.

In May, MCFRS held a joint press conference with the National Park Service, Park Police and Fairfax County Fire & Rescue to discourage people from swimming in the Potomac River in and around Great Falls National Park.

“It’s very inviting, especially when it starts to get hot so they want to try and get in cool off, and they think, ‘It doesn’t look so bad,’ and it’s deadly,” MCFRS Lieutenant Chief Moe Witt told County Cable Montgomery.

Purple Horse Beach, a few miles in along the Billy Goat Trail, is nonetheless a popular spot for swimmers. It was there where Forchick and his friends went swimming Monday.

Swimming is not allowed in the Potomac River Gorge, the 14-mile stretch of the river from the Key Bridge to Great Falls in Potomac.

Flickr photo by cb0w

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